Classifications and causes of amenorrhea
Secondary amenorrhea refers to the loss of periods without a physiological cause, as opposed to amenorrhea caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding (physiological amenorrhea). You may think of it as a condition where the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, or the ovary is not functioning correctly for some reason. In the first instance, the cause is usually put down to stress. Amenorrhea can be caused by stress from life experiences such as entrance exams, job hunting, heartbreak, or moving to another home.
Amenorrhea caused by excessive dieting
Many women lose their periods due to excessive dieting. It is of particular concern that so many young women fall into this category.
The organs in our body have different functions. The most vital are our heart, lungs, and brain, whereas the reproductive functions of such organs as the uterus and ovaries are not immediately essential for our survival. As such, when suffering from low nutrition due to dieting, our body supplies any available nutrients to the heart and other vital organs before it can be provided to reproductive organs. As a result, the ovaries stop functioning, causing amenorrhea. Our body knows what it is doing.
Women in their adolescence need to take particular care. Long term amenorrhea suffered during the time when your body is still in the process of maturing may lead you to suffer infertility in the future. Even if it is only for a few months, excessive dieting can cause great damage.
Amenorrhea caused by intense exercise
It is common for female athletes to find that intense exercise can also lead to amenorrhea. As with excessive dieting, our body tries to sustain its more vital functions by arresting the reproductive function which is not so immediately essential. This can be the case when athletes persistently compete in sports where it is necessary for them to maintain a low level of low body fat, such as in marathon-running or gymnastics. Some resumed their periods by taking a break for a while. Please be aware that long term amenorrhea may lead to difficulties in conceiving.
Amenorrhea caused by diseases
In rare cases, amenorrhea is caused by diseases related to the thyroid gland or the uterus. You may want to consider the possibility of such a disease if you can think of no other causes, such as stress or dieting.
The average age for menopause is about 50 or 51. However, in today's stressful society, more women go through an early menopause that begins in their thirties.
Early menopause not only makes pregnancy and childbirth impossible, but also brings forward the aging process. It can lead to osteoporosis due to the loss of bone density beginning earlier on in life, and it may also increase the risk of lifestyle diseases.
However, even the ovaries of healthy women start to decline around the age of 35. Hormone levels fall due to the reduced functioning of the ovaries. So it is quite natural for older women to have less menstrual flow than they did in their twenties.
The age of onset of irregular menstruation and the age of menopause
Treatment by a gynecologist
The longer a woman experiences amenorrhea, the less likely she is to resume regular menstruation on her own. If amenorrhea continues for over 3 months without pregnancy, please consult a gynecologist and consider what treatment may be necessary.
The gynecologist will examine your blood to check hormone levels. As a result, you may need to start hormonal therapy to bring hormone levels back to normal. Herbal medicines may also be prescribed in some cases.